Buy this Article for $5.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


  1. Cahill, Benjamin J. MD
  2. Allsup, Kelly BA
  3. Delligatti, Amanda MPH
  4. Althouse, Andrew D. PhD
  5. Forman, Daniel E. MD


Purpose: Most older adults eligible for cardiac rehabilitation (CR) do not participate or participate with low frequency, although it is a standard of care for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Identifying the barriers to older adult participation is key in improving CR efficacy.


Methods: A range of patient characteristics was analyzed in relation to on-site frequency of participation in a CR program by older adult patients. These characteristics included demographics and indications for referral, as well as CVD and non-CVD diagnoses. The prevalence of these characteristics was compared among three patient cohorts, ranging from high contact frequency to minimal contact frequency of on-site participation in CR.


Results: Among the three participation frequency cohorts, no differences were noted in demographic factors, indications for referral, or CVD diagnoses. However, patients with hearing impairment (OR = 4.15: 95% CI, 1.32-13.08) or visual impairment (OR = 4.11: 95% CI, 1.46-11.59) at time of enrollment were more likely to be found in the minimal contact cohorts than the moderate or high contact frequency cohorts.


Conclusions: Whereas differences in CVD had little bearing on frequency of CR participation in older patients, differences in hearing and visual impairment varied significantly. Patients with hearing and vision impairments attended less frequently. Sensory impairment has previously been demonstrated to impact health care utilization by older adults, but is rarely considered in the treatment of CVD or CR. As sensory impairments are extremely prevalent among geriatric patients, further study of these potential barriers to care might open possibilities for older adult participation in CR.